Astra theme vs Genesis framework is a decision that thousands of developers and would-be bloggers need to make every day.
It’s a crucial decision since anyone you choose will affect every aspect of your website.
What adds to the complexity is, both of them are close competitors in the WordPress website theme arena.
Genesis Framework, on the other hand, is used by 198k+ websites.
When it comes to the WordPress theme market, Astra and Genesis are at positions 3 and 4 respectively.
So, which one is the best for your (or your client’s) website?
We have tried to answer it in this discussion.
Stay with us.
Astra theme vs Genesis framework Comparison factors:
Both Astra and Genesis are robust assets with tons of features.
That’s why comparing them is not a simple challenge.
So, we are going to use the following criteria as the standard:
Table of Content:
- Astra and Genesis: What are they?
- How to install the Astra theme and Genesis Framework?
- What elements of Astra theme and Genesis are customizable?
- What SEO features Astra theme and Genesis offer?
- How do the child themes of Astra and Genesis framework compare?
- What pricing plans do Astra theme and Genesis offer?
- Which one has higher loading speed
- How is the Customer support of Astra and Genesis?
Let’s take the dive.
Astra and Genesis: What are they?
Astra is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that lets you create websites for a wide range of purposes.
Genesis, unlike Astra, is a theme framework. It allows you to create a website only when you combine a WordPress theme with it.
How to install the Astra theme and Genesis Framework?
We will look at the installation of both the Astra theme and the Genesis framework.
Let’s start with Astra-
Astra theme installation
The installation process of the Astra theme is pretty straightforward.
Here are the following steps:
1. Go to your dashboard
2. Navigate to Appearance > Themes
3. Search for “Astra” and install it.
4. Then activate it.
And you will be done.
You can also download the Astra theme from the official Astra website and upload the theme file to your WordPress dashboard.
Let’s now look at the Genesis framework installation.
Genesis framework installation
Installation of the Genesis framework is slightly different.
Let us take you through it.
1. Go to the official Genesis Framework website
2. Download the framework.
3. Download your chosen theme
To do this, you will need to log in to your MyStudioPress account. It looks like the image below:
FYI, StudioPress, the parent company of Genesis framework offers 2 types of themes.
- Third-party themes (all are paid ones)
- In-house themes
You can get these for free with Genesis Pro ($360/year).
You can also get these themes for free if you are using WordPress hosting from WP Engine or Flywheel.
4. Once you have the Genesis framework and child theme files, upload them to your WordPress dashboard.
5. Activate the child theme
What elements of Astra theme and Genesis are customizable?
Just installing the theme on your WordPress is not enough.
You will need to customize it to create a functional website.
Let’s have a look at their customization options.
Astra is an amazing match for page builders.
When you use any of the page builders above to customize your site, it’s a breeze.
Let’s have a look at the design options in Astra.
The free version of Astra lets you:
- Upload logo
- Customize fonts
- Customize Header options
- Change Footer settings
- Set colors
- Customize sidebar options
The “Pro” version of Astra offers even more features like a mega menu, 800+ google fonts, an option to change the color and background of any area on your site, countless blog layouts, and integration with LearnDash LifterLMS to offer online courses, and many more.
Genesis is not much far behind.
Even though the exact customization options depend on the child theme of Genesis you activate, there are some that are available in all.
- Site identity
- Background image
- Blog options
- Comments and content archives
- Header image
In case the child theme you have chosen in Genesis doesn’t offer (most of them do), you can display an image logo or a dynamic text as your site title.
What SEO features Astra theme and Genesis offer?
Every site owner wants 3 things badly for his/her site. Those are traffic, traffic and traffic.
And for quality traffic, SEO is crucial. That is unless you have a deep pocket for social media advertising.
In this regard, — both Astra and Genesis offer the standard set of SEO features.
The ones Astra offers are:
For better search engine ranking, high loading speed is crucial. And that’s something Astra has well-covered.
Its codebase is JQuery-free. JQuery is a render-blocking resource that makes the FCP (first contentful paint) longer.
FCP is one of the core web vitals. If FCP gets longer, the site will take longer to show up on your visitor’s browsers. As a result, your website rank would drop.
In addition, Astra is “feature light” according to their website and loads in under the 30s.
Of course, your site elements (images, videos, text) will influence the load time. But if you want a fast theme, then Astra will definitely make a wise choice.
Genesis, with its SEO features set, gives Astra hard competition.
For instance, you can customize the following on every post and page in the Genesis theme
- Document title
- Meta description
- Comma-separated meta keywords
- Canonical URL
- Redirect URL
- Robots meta settings
- Custom code/conversion tracking
There is one downside though.
If you have any SEO plugins installed on your WordPress site, then the default SEO settings option in your Genesis theme will not be visible.
The options inside this menu item are global settings. Fortunately, you can override them within individual pages or posts.
Inside this menu item, there are the following options:
- Document title
This setting determines how your site name and page title appears on SERPs and browser tabs ·
It’s similar to the “document title” setting. Except, it only works on the home page of your site.
- Document head
With this setting, you can re-enable the WordPress tags in the header section of your site pages in case the Genesis theme disables it.
As you can guess, this setting lets you allow or block search engine crawlers from indexing your site and its pages.
Like the “indexing” setting, this option lets you control the archiving of specific pages of your site.
- Open graph
The Open Graph setting is for social media sites. It makes it easy for social media sites to get ideas of your site pages and fetch an image to display when you share your page links. This setting is by default deactivated on Genesis.
Apart from some tiny differences, both Astra and Genesis are SEO optimized to a similar degree.
Using one over the other will not grant you any significant rank boost.
How do the child themes of Astra and Genesis framework compare?
When comparing WordPress themes and frameworks like Astra and Genesis, there is no way to ignore the matter of child themes.
In WordPress, child themes are a flexible replica of a parent theme. It’s flexible because a child theme lets you change the styling (not too drastic) of your website without touching the core files of the parent theme. They are two separate entities in terms of the codebase. That means you can update the parent theme of your WordPress site and retain the changes you have made in the child theme.
Astra lets you create a child theme using its child theme generator.
You can access it from within your WordPress dashboard, create your child theme, give a name and activate it. It will have all the functionalities of the Astra parent theme as any child theme should.
Genesis theme doesn’t let you create a child theme. And it doesn’t need to.
It has a ton of child themes designed for specific niches.
However, all of those are premium ones as we have mentioned before.
And unlike Astra, you will need to purchase them first. Then you can download it from your MyStudioPress dashboard. You will then need to upload the Genesis child theme file to your WordPress dashboard.
The upside is, Genesis lets you keep all of your prior site widgets. By simple drag-and-drop, you can activate them. The video below shows you simple it is.
If you are talking about the comfort of getting a child theme on your dashboard, then Astra surely beats Genesis.
And when it comes to customization of the child theme, well Astra is fully compatible with all major web page builders like Beaver, Elementor and Brizy. With Genesis, you will be using the Genesis framework for this purpose.
— So if you are familiar with a page builder, then Astra should be your preferred theme.
What pricing plans do Astra theme and Genesis offer?
The Astra theme has 3 pricing plans.
1. Astra Pro ($59/year)
2. Essential Bundle ($169/year)
3. Growth Bundle ($249/year)
You can get an idea of their features in the image below.
When you toggle the button from “annual” to “lifetime”, the prices are $523, $996 and $1,893 respectively.
In case you are not sure which one is suitable for you, you can always get the free version. FYI, not all of its starter demo sites are free. If you find that a nuisance, you can just get the “Essential Bundle” plan. With it, you will get all 150+ demo sites for free.
Genesis framework, on the flip side, has a very different pricing plan.
— Like Astra, you can get the Genesis framework for free.
There is a rude awakening though when you try to download one of its child themes.
You will find that all are paid themes. If you think, “to he** with these”, then you can always customize the Genesis framework itself. But for that, you will need to be a proficient web developer.
You can bypass this entire heartbreaking (irritating if you are a newbie) scenario if you get the Genesis Pro.
The Genesis Pro will cost you $360/year.
The sweet thing about this is, you will get loads of amazing stuff like below:
• All 35 of its premium child themes
• Access to and support for the Genesis Pro plugin
• The freedom to use Genesis on as many sites as you can imagine
• 20+ full page layouts and the ability to create your own
• Role based access for your team to work on your client projects And many others perks.
Well, with Astra, you have 3 options to choose from. But Genesis has only one pricing plan. On that basis, Astra is more suitable.
However, your choice of Astra and Genesis shouldn’t depend entirely on the pricing. Before you make a choice, we suggest you go through this entire piece first.
Which one has a higher loading speed?
Your site visitors wouldn’t know what patience is. This means they will want your site to load the moment they land on it.
The loading speed of your WordPress site will depend on not just of your theme but on your site content and hosting provider as well.
But we are talking about Astra and Genesis.
So let’s have a look at their loading speeds.
The core Astra theme claims to have:
• A load time that is just 2/5th of a second with default WordPress data
• A file size of under 50 KB
• No render-blocking JQuery
But your WordPress site will not have just the default data. It will have much more.
So, we decided not to take them for their word-tested 10 of its demo sites on GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.
Here is the result:
|Serial||Demo Site||LCP||Fully loaded time|
|09||Online coding course||1.2s||2.7s|
You may be wondering what LCP is in the table above.
LCP, short for largest contentful paint, is the time it takes to render the largest image or text to be visible on a device screen. According to Google, websites should aim for an LCP of 1.2s or less.
By this standard, all 10 of the Astra demo sites above have earned green flags.
** Our test server location was Vancouver, Canada. The values of the metrics above may be different for a different server location.
We didn’t have to test 10 demo sites of Genesis. Our friends at GeekFlare have already done it.
Here is the result:
|Themees||Load time (in seconds)|
They performed this test using GTmetrix and an in-house GeekFlare tool.
And the load time is the LCP not the “fully loaded time”.
According to the table above, not all the child themes of Genesis are fully optimized for speed or search engines.
Do Astra and Genesis have active communities?
Astra theme was launched in 2017. Since then, it has gained over 1.5M+ clients. It also boasts 5.5K+ real user reviews on WordPress and TrustPilot combined.
Its private Facebook group has about 30K members. So you can guess how thriving its community would be. Genesis, which was launched in February of 2010, is undoubtedly a fierce competition of Astra. It is the 6th most popular framework among the top 1M WordPress sites. It is also the 7th most popular among the top 10K WordPress sites.
Have a look at the usage statistics of Astra and Genesis.
(Source: Built With) As you can see, Astra has got a spiking number of clients among the top 1M WordPress sites. But the top 100K websites have not been that enthusiastic about it. The top 10K websites seem to have no interest in Astra.
Genesis, on the other hand, has been experiencing a sharp decline of its customers among the top 1M sites club since 2018. From 2015 to 2018, it has experienced steady and sharp growth. The picture is the same for the top 100K sites. But when it comes to the top 10K sites club, Genesis has more users than Astra. Do you remember what we said earlier about these two top players?
That Astra is for those who are not exactly tech savvy and want their sites up and running fast. Genesis on the other hand needs development experience.
That most likely explains why Astra has gone ahead of Genesis over the years in terms of the user base.
How is the Customer support of Astra and Genesis?
Customer support is crucial for all site owners whether you are using Astra or Genesis.
Let’s see how they fare in this regard.
Astra has 3 types of customer support channels.
They are: ·
Any of your queries you may have before installing or purchasing their products are handled through this channel. Through this channel, you can also get support for technical and billing-related issues.
This is their VIP customer support channel. It handles the queries of those paid clients of Astra.
If you are using the free Astra theme, then this is the customer support channel for you Genesis maintains a much leaner customer service department.
To resolve your issues no matter what type it is, you need to log in to your MyStudioPress account.
They encourage you to visit their FAQs first before you reach out to them.
For affiliate and account-related issues, they have separate teams. The blue CTA buttons in the image above will lead you to them.
Affiliate programs offered by Astra and Genesis
In case you are interested in the affiliate programs of Astra and Genesis, here is what you should know.
|Earning potential||$210 or 30% commission per sale||35% per sale|
|Cookie life||60 days||60 days|
|Additional perks||Marketing materials|
Expert marketing team for advice
|Sub-affiliate program (5% commission from sales made by affiliates using your affiliate link)|
Monthly newsletter on affiliate marketing tips
We have reached the end of our Astra vs. Genesis battle.
So who is the winner?
Well, if you have paid attention throughout the duel, you would know that it’s impossible to draw a clear line in the sand.
Astra is easy on your wallet as it offers a free version of its superb theme. Genesis, however, doesn’t seem to believe in free stuff.
Astra boasts SEO-optimized demo sites. That’s not exactly the case with Genesis. Most of its child themes are amazingly fast but fall short (by a tiny fraction) when compared to those of Astra.
With Astra, you can do pretty much anything without needing to write programs or hire a developer.
In that regard, Genesis is almost the same. Though it depends on what sort of change or functionality you have in mind.
When it comes to installation, Astra beats Genesis. You can install Astra from within your WordPress dashboard. Not possible with Genesis.
We now leave it to you.
Which one of these top WordPress theme players would you go for? Is it Astra? Or do you favor Genesis? Let us know in the comments below.